Deutsche Lufthansa AG

Flexible, scalable platform improves customer service, lowers costs

Published on 20-Jun-2007

Validated on 03 Oct 2013

Customer:
Deutsche Lufthansa AG

Industry:
Travel & Transportation

Deployment country:
Germany

Overview

Lufthansa faced several challenges to improving Lufthansa.com and its online service to customers in general.

Business need:
With the rise in demand for customer self-service, and the need to differentiate itself from the competition, Lufthansa had to find a way to provide improved online service through its Lufthansa.com portal while reducing costs.

Solution:
IBM worked together with Deutsche Lufthansa and Amadeus – the global leader in online travel technology – to re-create the Lufthansa.com portal. Lufthansa.com now has a flexible, standard Internet Booking Engine, whose functionality and hosting is independent of the rest of the platform, but which is still fully integrated into the portal.

Benefits:
The solution has provided Deutsche Lufthansa with a reduction in maintenance costs and operational responsibility, improved site usability and functionality, and in increase in volume flexibility and scalability.

Case Study

Business challenge

“Even faster, even easier and even more customer-friendly” is the motto of Lufthansa.com, Deutsche Lufthansa's online customer portal. With the rise in demand for customer self-service, and the need to differentiate itself from the competition, Lufthansa sought to improve Lufthansa.com in order to:

  • Attract more customers to use its self-service channel for ticket sales and frequent traveler services.
  • Personalize the experience for millions of customers in more than 80 countries and 12 languages.
  • Deliver unmatched performance levels with an "on demand" business model with scalability options and billing based mainly on the volume of bookings.
  • Increase the overall growth of Lufthansa's online business.
  • Ensure maximum flexibility for Lufthansa's business model.

Over time, different functional components had been added to the Lufthansa.com environment, making it heterogenous and difficult to upgrade and improve as a whole. Backend integration had previously been implemented point-to-point and was based on partially outdated interface technologies, again presenting a challenge to a global system update. The heterogeneous environment also meant that platform scalability was limited, requiring long leadtimes for volume increases, and involved some physical bottlenecks that no longer allowed for comprehensive economic scaling. The platform was not fully integrated with the Lufthansa CRM systems, producing duplicate data and confusion, to the detriment of customer service.

All of these challenges meant that the overall platform cost was high. However, implementing a new system might also be cost-prohibitive. Lufthansa needed to find a way to provide improved online service through its Lufthansa.com portal while reducing costs. The company felt that it could succeed by using new technologies that it could upgrade easily, and it sought a variable fee service delivery model to manage the costs of scaling up and down to meet the peaks and ebbs of travel service demand.

Solution
Deutsche Lufthansa called on IBM, which brought together a team of experts from several lines of business, to re-create Lufthansa.com with the customer in mind. IBM, worked together with Deutsche Lufthansa and Amadeus – the global leader in online travel technology – to re-design the Lufthansa.com portal.

Lufthansa.com was re-created from end-to-end – from functionality, architecture, processes and infrastructure. Lufthansa.com now has a flexible, standard Internet Booking Engine, whose functionality and hosting is independent of the rest of the platform, but which is still fully integrated into the portal. The portal offers easy, flexible and extensible mechanisms for integration of Lufthansa back-end systems, legacy components and external applications. By integrating the most important Lufthansa back-end systems providing direct access to Lufthansa’s central customer repository, flight repository and other directory systems, Deutsche Lufthansa has finally ended data redundancy problems and has reduced the need for manual error tracking and transactions concerning customer data. The solution enables Deutsche Lufthansa to respond to the peaks and ebbs of travel demand quickly and seamlessly.

The new Lufthansa.com portal platform is based on a whole range of IBM products, run on IBM hardware and operated by IBM eBusiness Hosting. The Internet Booking Engine is fully provided by Amadeus on the basis of their specialized airline product planitGo, and hosted in Amadeus’ own hosting facilities. IBM also provided the client with dedicated consultants and developers as part of a five-year maintenance contract.

Benefits
  • Reduction in maintenance costs
  • Improved site usability and functionality
  • More flexible booking process
  • Improved portal administration
  • Increase in volume flexibility and scalability

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
WebSphere Portal Server

Service:
IBM Global Business Services